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1.22.2015

My Abortion Story: The blood on my hands.


"The greatest destroyer of peace is abortion because if a mother can kill her own child, what is left for me to kill you and you to kill me? There is nothing between." --Mother Teresa

Have you ever had a secret? I mean, a REAL secret. One so deep and so dark that you clung tightly to it for years and never told a soul. Have you lived in fear that someone would find out and reveal it...and in doing so, reveal a fallen you?

I have. I have had a secret like that. And I'm about to share it with all of you.

In my early twenties, I was terribly lost. I had spent the final years of my adolescence in outright rebellion and as a result, was suffering the consequences. I was an H-O-double-T, hot mess.

During this time, I made a new friend. She was kind and funny and our friendship was easy and light-hearted. After about two months of fast and furious soul-sister kind of bonding, she began to act strangely. She stopped returning my calls. I thought I had somehow offended her. I couldn't for the life of me figure what I had done.


Finally, out of real concern, I went to her house and knocked on her door. At first, no answer. Finally, after multiple knocks and me calling her name, she came to the door, disheveled and exhausted looking. My first thought was that she was ill.

I was terribly wrong.

She was pregnant. Pregnant with a married man's baby. Pregnant and alone. Pregnant and scared. Very, very scared.

My next few memories are fuzzy. Time has been a tremendous blessing and the LORD has been faithful to erase certain recollections. However, I do remember standing in the driveway of my friend's house and waiting for a vehicle to arrive. I remember the vehicle pulling up to the curb, a window rolling halfway down and the individual handing me an envelope of cash. I remember seeing his face--a married man I knew. His identity was startling but not nearly as much as his callous behavior. He literally threw his money at this--"her problem". I don't remember what he said. I don't remember whether or not I responded. I don't remember him driving away, but he did. And I'm quite certain, he never looked back. 

Some of the memories have survived time and I suppose the LORD deemed them valuable and therefore, allowed them to remain more vividly with me. I remember the look on my friend's face when I told her he drove away and wasn't coming back. I remember her vomiting. Dry heaving. I remember sitting beside her on the cold, cluttered floor of her bathroom as she counted the cash from the envelope and called a Planned Parenthood clinic in Dallas. I remember my silence. My deafening silence. I remember her sobs. I remember discussing plans and logistics. I remember driving her to the clinic. Although, I can't remember if it was the next day or the day after that.

And I remember having the opportunity in her bathroom, in my car, at the curb of the abortion clinic to say something to her. In fact, I remember countless opportunities to say multiple things. Anything would have been better than nothing. I could have said something on behalf of the unborn baby inside her. I could have said something about God's will for her life, God's will for the baby's life, something. Anything. And for me, the talker, the Chatty Cathy, the never-drying-well of words, it is unthinkable that I choose not to.

I was mute.

When I parked at the Planned Parenthood Clinic, my friend told me she didn't want me to go inside. Now remember, this was all taking place in the era before cell phones and prior to the age of text messaging. She had looked up Planned Parenthood in the yellow pages of the phone book. The lady, if that's what we are going to call her, that answered the phone at the clinic, informed my friend that from start to finish, she would probably be there two hours. I can remember thinking what in the world was I going to do for two hours? Because I was certainly trying not to think about what was going to occur inside the clinic during that time period.

I don't remember watching her walk to the door.

I remember driving away from the clinic so disoriented, distracted and so overwhelmed with sadness that I turned the wrong direction on a one way street. My life flashed before my eyes as I dodged a car to avoid a head-on collision. As I pulled into a nearby driveway to collect myself, I realized my life, to this point, had been short, selfish and meaningless. I also realized that I just made myself complicit in the ending of an even shorter life. An innocent, forgotten life never given the chance to be selfish, meaningless or perhaps, meaningful, selfless and amazing.

I have no idea what I did with the remainder of that time. I don't remember where I went or what I did. I don't remember the journey back to the abortion clinic. Nothing. I remember nothing of the remainder of those two hours. However, I do, vividly remember pulling back into the shaded, secluded parking lot and seeing my girlfriend. She was sitting on the curb, in front of the entrance, white as a ghost, with two small cups sitting next to her on the sidewalk. I pulled my car up as close as I could get, got out and walked around to the passenger side. I saw that one cup contained water and the other contained a saltine cracker, broken in half. She hadn't taken a bite.

I helped her into the car and buckled her in because her hands were shaking too badly for her to do it herself. She reclined the passenger seat, turned her head toward the window and never said a word. And once again, I remained completely silent. Something in our fast friendship was gone, some fragile connection we shared was suddenly broken. The absence of the baby in her womb had changed her. She was a shell of the woman I had met a few months ago. Her eyes were no longer bright. Her smile no longer contagious. She was different. She was empty. 

I dropped her off at her house and her cousin helped her out of my car and into the house. I knew he would tend to her and make sure she was okay. I drove to my parent's house, where I was living at the time, and parked my car. I can remember leaning my head against my steering wheel and sobbing into the cheap, faux leather mid-section. I was devastated at what had taken place that day. I was heartbroken. And I had simply driven and been guilty of saying nothing. I was the chauffeur and quiet "friend". I couldn't imagine the pain and sadness my girlfriend was feeling. And that is when it hit me: I had not only failed the baby, but I had also failed my friend. I gathered up my purse and noticed the two paper cups. One still contained water and the other, it's cracker. I slung my purse over my shoulder and collected the cups. I poured the water out on my way up the driveway and tossed the cups and uneaten saltine into my parent's gray, outdoor trash can. It was a feeble attempt at disposing of the evidence of my terrible, terrible wrongdoing.

I never spoke with my friend again. She never contacted me. I never contacted her. I never told anyone of her transgression. Or of mine.

Fast forward almost fifteen years, I am attending a banquet to raise money for an outreach pregnancy center in my hometown. The speaker is Abby Johnson. She is a well-known pro-life advocate with an amazing story of redemption. Once upon a time, Mrs. Johnson ran one of the largest abortion clinics in the nation. She also has had two abortions. As I listened to her speech that night, so many emotions flooded through me. Guilt. Shame. Regret. Sadness. Loss. Guilt. Shame. Over and over again. And then, at some point in her speech, she spoke about the after-abortion-recovery process within Planned Parenthood clinics. She talked about how the clinics give the abortive moms a cup of water and a saltine cracker after their abortion. My chest tightened. My hands began to sweat. My eyes welled up with tears. I closed my eyes and in my mind, I saw the cups on the curb, the cups in my car, the cups in my hands. My guilt was almost overwhelming.

That night, on the drive home from the banquet, I shared my secret, my shame, my deepest, darkest memory with my husband. Needless to say, he was shocked. He couldn't imagine a time in my life when I was anything but fiercely Pro-Life. He couldn't imagine a moment in which my resolve would falter and I would be part of something I so vehemently despise. He hugged my neck and assured me it wasn't my fault. But deep down, I knew it was my fault. At least, partially. I am responsible for the part I played in that innocent baby's demise. That night, after I knew my sweet husband was asleep, I got on my knees and prayed fervently for forgiveness. I begged the LORD to pardon me and cleanse me. I prayed for my long lost friend and for the baby that she will one day meet in Heaven. I prayed for her to have peace and assurance. But I also swore, in the sweet, holy name of Jesus, that my mission forevermore would be LIFE. I promised the LORD that I would speak for those who can't speak. That I would fight for those who can't fight. That I would love those who aren't loved. I promised I would never again fail to speak on the behalf of an unborn child.

And I believe I am forgiven. I believe my friend, if she has confessed her sin and asked for forgiveness, that she too, has been completely, totally and perfectly redeemed. But admittedly, I have lived with the guilt and shame of my cowardly silence for over a decade and a half. In all honesty, I don't think I'll ever fully recover from the guilt of my part in her abortion, because I don't think I am supposed to. I believe the LORD has and will continue to use my memories of this atrocity as a way to remind me of my own fallen nature, my dependence on Him and my redemption through the blood of Jesus Christ. I think the LORD will also use this story, what I now see as my sacred thorn, as a way of keeping me committed, focused, to strengthen my faith, to steady my resolve and to give me confidence in doing my part to end abortion.

So, on this day, the 42nd annual March for Life, I decided to share my abortion story and reveal my secret, not for any other reason than, to hopefully inspire someone else to take a stand, be a voice, to do what is right. To do what I didn't do.

So many people wonder why I am sooooo opinionated. So many people ask me why I say the things I say. So many people tell me I am insane to "put myself out there" and make myself vulnerable. But in all honesty, I'm not scared of being judged by any of you for my past. I am, however, scared to death of being righteously judged by Jesus for failing in my future. So, yeah, I have secrets and regrets and have learned some really hard, valuable lessons in my life. But ultimately, I say what I say, and write what I write, and believe what I believe because I have been given the opportunity to live. My mother chose life. And an Almighty Father created me inside her womb. He knit me together, perfectly suited, for His purpose and this moment in time and I am committed to fulfilling His plan for my life regardless of culture, fear and trend. And I believe without a shadow of a doubt, that as long as we, as a society, allow women to freely and legally abort unborn children, we ALL have innocent blood on our hands. This isn't a women's issue. This isn't a healthcare issue. This is a heart issue. This is a matter of faith. As long as we, as a society, put the superficial freedoms of a "woman's right to choose" ahead of the God-given right of the unborn baby to live, we are doomed. We are guilty by association. We are condemned as a nation and as a people.

Ladies, and gentlemen, abortion is not okay. Abortion is murder. Condoning abortion is not okay. Condoning abortion makes you complicit. Ignoring abortion is not okay. Ignoring abortion makes you guilty as well. Guilty of doing nothing while evil reigned around you.  

We can end this, y'all. We can save babies and minister to women. We can break down laws and free women from emotional bondage. We can glorify LIFE and in doing so, glorify God. We can be the nation and the people we were created and intended to be. We will never be a nation of equity and freedom if we continue to destroy lives deemed inconvenient, unplanned or unwanted. We are better than abortion--or at least, we can be.

But we must end this senseless massacre of innocents before we walk together in amazing victory. Yes, lives matter. All lives matter. The blood on my hands reminds me of that each day.

6 comments:

  1. WOW....I'm speechless and that is a rarity.

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    1. Thank you so much for reading, Byron!! Always, thank you, thank you, thank you.

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  2. Thanks for sharing.... praying for and with you!

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  3. Thanks for sharing this story! Very hard subject but needs to be addressed! Prayers!!

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  4. Thank you so much for sharing and encouraging others to take a stand against abortion. God bless you.

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  5. Is it possible for someone my age to look up to, admire and want to be like, that is young enough to be my daughter? Yep...this gal.

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